PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has called China a “voice of reason” during the Covid-19 pandemic, citing the country’s call for nations not to allow emergency crisis mitigation measures to unduly affect their economic activity.
Delivering a keynote address at the 2020 World Chinese Economic Summit, hosted in Kuala Lumpur, Muhyiddin reaffirmed that Malaysia will be a pro-business, investment and trading nation and stated its commitment to international partnerships.
“As a key proponent of a multilateral trading system, China has been a voice of reason and moderation throughout this crisis, calling for countries to ensure that their emergency measures, introduced to mitigate risk associated with the pandemic, did not disproportionately affect trade and investment flows,” he said.
Muhyiddin called for governments to resist overly-nationalistic policies that could restrict international business relations.
“It is of utmost importance that governments continue to remain true to fundamental philosophies and rules that govern international trade, which in turn provide certainty and predictability for businesses.
“It then ensues, that we must resist protectionism and unilateralism and allow from unimpeded flows of cross border goods and services.”
The prime minister added that the pandemic was an “unlikely ally for innovation, digitalisation and technological adoption,” as companies and consumers were forced to adapt to limits on movement and operations.
“Businesses that have resisted these enablers in the past, no longer have the option to do so if they are to remain alive and relevant.”
He said that it is of utmost importance that economic activity must be performed with a renewed sense of resilience and vigor, adding that businesses must also be prepared to adapt to the new economic landscape if they want to weather the crisis.
The prime minister noted that the Summit, held both in-person at Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur and virtually, was a prime example of the ways the pandemic has forced people to adapt to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 global pandemic.